Penn State Baseball vs. Rutgers Preview
The road to start the season has been a tough one for the Penn State baseball team.
Coming into the weekend with a 7-11 record, the Nittany Lions have struggled against non-conference opponents and are currently in the midst of a two-game losing streak.
During those two losses, the blue and white have scored a combined one run which came on Tuesday against Youngstown State.
That game was tied at one apiece headed into the top of the ninth inning where the Penguins took advantage of several Nittany Lion miscues to score the eventual game-winning run.
Now, the Nittany Lions look to kick off their conference schedule on the right foot against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.
Unlike the Nittany Lions, the Scarlet Knights have gotten off to a great start especially on the offensive side of the ball with a 14-5 record having scored double-digit runs in six of those victories.
Rutgers also played in a one-game series on Tuesday as they defeated Rider in a battle on the road.
In a 5-2 victory, it was the pitching that came through when the Scarlet Knights needed it most as six players dawning the scarlet and black took the mound with all of them getting at least one inning of work.
Offensively, several Scarlet Knights have gotten off to great starts this season with five everyday starters currently hitting over the .300 mark.
Leading the charge has been redshirt junior Nick Cimillo as the catcher sports a .426 batting average and already has five home runs during his first season with the program.
Cimillo transferred from Manhattan following the end of last season.
That early success has led to a great start for Rutgers in the Big Ten standings.
As of now, the Scarlet Knights are in third place in the conference with the start of Big Ten play on the horizon.
Penn State has found less success as they rank third to last in the conference as one of seven teams in the Big Ten that hold a losing record.
Last season, these two squads found themselves at around the same mark in the standings with Rutgers finishing in eighth place and Penn State one spot below them at number nine.
This will be a big three-game set for the blue and white this weekend and is one that is sure to set the tone for how the team will perform in conference play this season.
Logan Bourandas is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.